May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

join with the aacr to find better ways to prevent and treat bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Bladder cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States. Approximately 82,290 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer and some 16,710 people are expected to die from the disease in 2023, according to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER).

The incidence rate of bladder cancer is four times higher among men than among women, and twice as high in white males as among Black, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander men.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) explains that there are three types of bladder cancer. These cancers are named for the type of cells that become malignant: transitional cell carcinoma, which begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder; squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the squamous cells, and may form after long-term infection or irritation; and adenocarcinoma, which begins in glandular (secretory) cells that are found in the lining of the bladder.

Cancer that is in the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer. Cancer that has spread through the lining of the bladder and has invaded the muscle wall of the bladder or has spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes is called invasive bladder cancer.

Risk factors for bladder cancer include tobacco use, having a family history of the disease, exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace, drinking well water with high levels of arsenic, and having a history of bladder infections, according to the NCI.

Approximately 78 percent of people diagnosed with bladder cancer survived five years or more after diagnosis between 2012 and 2019, according to federal estimates.

One Patient’s Story

When Lesa Kirkman’s bladder cancer eventually failed to respond to the best available treatment, she turned to a clinical trial of a new gene therapy. She was able to stop the treatment after three years and has had no recurrences. Read her story in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2023.

what the aacr is doing in bladder cancer research

The AACR is organizing a “Special Conference on Bladder Cancer: Transforming the Field,” set for May 17-20, 2024, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to bring together the world’s leading experts on bladder cancer.

for more information

See our page on bladder cancer, which includes information on the different types of bladder cancer and on screening and treatment.